Monday, May 20, 2013

Gear Review: The Redington Link with Rise reel

The Redington Link
For a guy who lives on the edge of the Rockies here in eastern Idaho, I've become something of a saltwater junkie. When I leave for the Bahamas in three weeks, it will mark my fourth salty destination over the course of the last year.

I've subjected myself to a crash-course in saltwater angling, and while I clearly have a lot to learn, I've come to the realization that nothing--and I mean nothing--beats good equipment when you're chasing fish that, with a bit of effort, can run the average angler into the backing... several times. When that first salty critter hammers a Clouser, you immediately know that you're not chasing brookies in some backcountry haunt.

This is big boy fishing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Now's the time...

Comment and help save Bristol Bay.
The EPA has released its updated watershed assessment for the Bristol Bay watershed, and it says exactly what you might think it says: Pebble Mine would endanger the drainages irreplaceable salmon runs, and put 14,000 commercial fishing jobs at risk in the process.

Now's the time to comment on the assessment and let the EPA know that American sportsmen and women aren't about to stand idly by and watch one the world's greatest treasures be trashed forever.

Pebble Mine, you'll recall, would be the largest open-pit mine in the world, and the multi-national conglomerate of corporations that wants to construct it would dig it in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the world's most economically vital salmon system.

Common sense says this is the wrong mine in the wrong place. Greed and the desire for short-term gain says the gold and other heavy metals buried beneath the permafrost more than excuse the mine's construction. I suppose if you're sitting in a high-backed leather chair in London or Johannesburg counting the profits before the mine is even approved, the latter might make sense, especially if you've never gripped a fly rod, or dreamt of casting to the massive rainbow trout that depend on the millions of sockeye salmon that migrate up the watershed every summer.

The Bristol Bay drainage is an American icon. The lands and waters of this amazing place are truly wild, and most of them belong to all of us, as a birthright.

Don't stand by and let our resources be turned under for short-term gain. This place deserves better.

Tell the EPA to put a stop to this nonsense once and for all.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


You know when it's happening, but if you're busy gazing into the emerald green waters just off the beach of the East Cape of the Baja for roosters and jacks, you don't really care.

I got cooked on the beach during my recent trip to the Baja. I got cocky. I got careless. I might have gotten melanoma--only time will tell, I suppose.

But there's a modestly happy ending. Purely serendipitously, I got an e-mail from Rachel Wepler, who reps for the product Unburn. The timing was ideal--I knew the Sea of Cortez sun would eventually get the best of me, and I figured having a bit of sunburn tonic couldn't hurt. I hit Rachel up for a bottle of the product and it arrived just in time to make it into the travel bag.

And I'm glad it did. While some sunburns are too far gone to really treat with topical ointments like Unburn (the blistered mass of goop that was once my right foot became evidence of that), the ointment--which is 25 percent lidocane--did the trick to take some of the pain away from a burned face and scorched arms and legs. It helped cool the skin and I know it helped make sleeping easier for the first couple of nights after incurring the careless injury.

So, thanks Rachel, for shipping me the bottle of Unburn--I'll buy my next bottle with no regrets.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Mike with the first of several triggerfish.
For me, the good thing about making vows about fishing is that I can qualify them. You know... "If I catch a roosterfish, I'm stripping down and running into the surf."


Now, for clarity, I think I'm a fairly solid fly fisher, all the requirements that come with casting to saltwater critters aside. Put me on a trout stream, and I'm in my element. Put me on the beach, and my now-serviceable double-haul will stretch a fly line adequately. Put me in the bow of a boat, and I'll put a fly generally where I want to put it, within reason.

But I'm not going light your hair on fire--just because I'm passionate about something doesn't mean I'm some kind of tournament pro.

So, deep down, I knew that my chances--on my first shot at them--of actually catching a roosterfish were slim. Hence, the naked dive into the Sea of Cortez was likely not going to happen. And, trust me, that's to the great relief of all those within eyeshot.

Trust me.